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WHO Monitoring Highly Mutated New Strain of COVID-19, Now Spotted in Michigan

A new COVID variant with very few known cases but many mutations has been swiftly moved into the World Health Organization's "variant under monitoring" classification.

Four known cases of the variant, dubbed BA.2.86, have been so far identified worldwide, including one case in Michigan.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it is tracking the new va...

WHO Agency Declares Aspartame a Possible Carcinogen

In findings that are likely to fuel the debate over the safety of aspartame, one World Health Organization (WHO) agency announced Thursday that the artificial sweetener is a possible carcinogen while another stood firm in saying that aspartame is safe in recommended doses.

"Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. Every year, 1 in 6 people die from cancer. Science is continu...

WHO Experts Take Another Look at Aspartame's Safety

The artificial sweetener aspartame is in the hot seat once more.

Two separate committees made up of health experts from around the world will soon offer advice on consuming aspartame, a popular sugar substitute that is added to sodas, cough drops, desserts and gum.

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 30, 2023
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  • WHO Says No to Artificial Sweeteners for Weight Loss

    Skip artificial sweeteners if you're trying to lose weight, warns the World Health Organization (WHO), noting the sugar substitutes aren't effective for shedding pounds and may also cause harm.

    Long-term use of sugar substitutes may cause "potential undesirable effects," according to new WHO guidance. This can include an "increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, an...

    WHO Declares COVID Global Emergency Over

    More than three years after the coronavirus began ravaging the planet, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday that the pandemic is no longer a public emergency.

    "It's with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency,"� WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said dur...

    WHO Experts Say Healthy Kids, Teens May Not Need More COVID Shots

    New advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) says healthy children and teens may not need additional COVID-19 shots, though they may need to catch up on other routine vaccines.

    "The public health impact of vaccinating healthy children and adolescents is comparatively much lower than the established benefits of traditional essential vaccines for children -- such as the rotavirus, me...

    Pandemic at a Tipping Point: WHO

    The pandemic has reached a "transition point,"� the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.

    Still, that doesn't mean the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) designation declared by the WHO in January 2020 is over yet.

    The organization's International Health Regulations Emergency Committee met last week to discuss COVID-19, saying in a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 30, 2023
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  • Pandemic's Two-Year Global Death Toll May Be Close to 15 Million

    Almost 15 million people likely died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, nearly three times more than previously reported, a new World Health Organization study estimates.

    The researchers said the COVID-19 pandemic caused about 4.5 million more deaths than would have been expected in 2020, and 10.4 million more in 2021, according to the report published online Dec. 14 i...

    Which Drugs Fight COVID Best? WHO Updates Treatment Guidelines

    In updated guidance issued Thursday, the World Health Organization now recommends against using the antibody drugs sotrovimab and casirivimab-imdevimab for patients with COVID-19.

    This recommendation replaces previous conditional recommendation for these antibody drugs. The change in guidance was based on emerging evidence that the medications -- which work by binding to the SARS-CoV-2 sp...

    WHO Declares Monkeypox a Global Health Emergency

    Monkeypox, which has now spread to 75 countries and sickened at least 16,000 people, has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The declaration came after WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus overruled a panel of advisors that could not come...

    Don't Use Luvox, Colchicine to Fight COVID, WHO Experts Say

    People shouldn't take the drugs colchicine and fluvoxamine to treat mild to moderate COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning.

    The antidepressant drug fluvoxamine (Luvox) and the gout drug colchicine are commonly ...

    WHO Experts Open to Notion That China Lab Leak Spurred COVID

    In an about-face from an original report on what might have caused the COVID-19 pandemic, experts enlisted by the World Health Organization said Thursday that they could not discount the "China lab leak" theory.

    In contrast, the WHO's initial assessment in 20...

    WHO Says Pandemic Death Total Far Higher Than Reported in Many Countries

    In an estimate that far exceeds reported totals, an expert panel appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that there were nearly 15 million more deaths worldwide during the first two years of the pandemic than would normally have been expected.

    That compares with an official tally of 6.2 million COVID-19 deaths r...

    Health Officials Investigate Mysterious Hepatitis Cases Among Children in U.S., U.K.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating an unexplained increase in severe liver infection in children around the world including in the United States and the United Kingdom.

    The severe acute hepatitis cases have led to hospitalizations and even some liver transplants, but not deaths, CBS News report...

    99% of Planet's Population Breathes Dirty Air: WHO

    Almost no one in the world is breathing good air, according to a new World Health Organization report, which issued a call for reducing the use of fossil fuels.

    Air quality is the worst in WHO's Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia regions, but 99% of the global population breathes air that exceeds ai...

    Could a Chewing Gum in Pregnancy Help Prevent Premature Deliveries?

    Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk for preterm birth, and now new research suggests that chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol during pregnancy may lower this risk.

    The study took place in Malawi, Africa, which has one of the world's highest rates of preterm delivery. Experts are quick t...

    COVAX Program Has Now Sent 1 Billion COVID Vaccines to Poorer Nations

    The latest shipment of 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccines to Rwanda this weekend signaled a noteworthy achievement: The COVAX program, a United Nations-backed program providing poorer countries with vaccines, has now shipped one billion of the doses to combat the coronavirus in 144 countries.

    But still, that "is on...

    Once-a-Day HIV Pill Works Well for Kids

    An international trial found that a once-a-day antiretroviral medication for kids with HIV is not only cheap and easy to take, but also better at suppressing HIV than standard treatments.

    "Our findings provide strong evidence for the global rollout of dolutegravir for children with HIV," said Dr. Diana Gibb, a professor of epidemiology at University College London and a principal investig...

    Program Aims to Get Lifesaving Drugs to Kids With Cancer in Poorer Countries

    A new program to boost the supply of cancer medicines for children in low- and middle-income countries has been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    The hospital is making a six-year, $200 million investment to launch the Global Platform for Access to Childhood C...

    WHO Approves First Long-Acting Device to Shield Women From HIV

    With HIV a continuing threat to women's health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the first long-acting device to protect women from sexually transmitted HIV.

    The device is a vaginal ring made of silicone elastomer, a flexible rubber-like material that makes it easy to insert and comfortable to use. The ring releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine into the vagina slowly...

    What You Need to Know About Stomach Cancer

    New treatment options are giving hope to patients with stomach cancer.

    Also known as gastric cancer, the disease is the world's sixth most common cancer with 1.09 million new cases in 2020, according to the World Health Organization.

    It's an abnormal growth of cells that can affect any part of the stomach, but typically forms in the main part.

    "I tell patients who have been re...

    Biden Administration Moves to Cut Methane Emissions That Threaten Climate, Health

    A new rule to sharply cut methane emissions and other oil and gas industry air pollutants that harm health and contribute to climate change is in the works.

    The new Clean Air Act rule proposed Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would cut 41 million tons of methane emissions between 2023 and 2035.

    That's the equivalent of 920 million metric tons of carbon dioxi...

    When COVID Triggers Loss of Smell, Younger Patients Recover It Sooner

    Most adults who lose smell or taste due to COVID-19 infection regain those senses within months, but a quick recovery is more likely in those under 40, a new study finds.

    It included 798 participants in an ongoing survey who reported a loss of either sense after testing positive for COVID.

    WHO Approves First Malaria Vaccine, a Lifesaver for Children Worldwide

    The first vaccine to protect against malaria has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and could prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of children a year.

    Malaria kills about half a million people worldwide annually. Nearly all of those deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and include 260,000 children under the age of 5, The New York Times reported.

    ...

    U.S. to Buy 500 Million More COVID Vaccine Doses for Global Donation

    The United States will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that it will donate to countries in need, President Biden announced at a virtual summit on the pandemic Wednesday.

    The United States is doubling its purchase of the vaccine to 1 billion doses as Biden hopes 70% of the world's population can be vaccinated within a year, the Associated Press reporte...

    WHO Says Africa Will Get 30% of COVID Vaccines It Needs by February

    In Africa, only 4% of people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Leaders had once hoped to have 60% of people living on the continent vaccinated this year.

    That now appears unlikely.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners said they do hope to provide African countries with 30% of the vaccines the continent needs by February, the Associated Press repor...

    Ebola Vaccine Effective in African Clinical Trial

    An experimental Ebola vaccine appeared effective in children and adults in a clinical trial.

    Two doses of Johnson & Johnson's Ebola vaccine appear safe, well tolerated and produce a strong immune response in people over the age of 1, according to two just-published papers.

    ...

    Data Doesn't Support Need for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: Experts

    COVID-19 vaccine booster shots might not be needed for most people, according to a large international review.

    The review -- conducted by a team that included scientists from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- concluded that current vaccines are effective enough against severe COVID-19, even from the Delta variant, and that booster shots are unnece...

    COVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a Quarter

    Fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than expected will be available through the global COVAX program, affecting many less-affluent nations waiting on these doses.

    The United Nations forecast last week that it would have about 25% fewer vaccines to distribute through COVAX this year -- 1.4 billion compared to an earlier projection for 1.9 billion doses,

  • Cara Murez
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  • September 13, 2021
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  • Why Aren't COVID Vaccines Getting to People Globally?

    The highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 has highlighted a fear shared by infectious disease experts worldwide: That increasingly dangerous mutations will continue to crop up until most people around the globe are vaccinated.

    "There are going to be more variants and they may eventually be variants of concern or variants that pose problems for the vaccine," said Dr. Amesh Adalja...

    New 'Mu' Coronavirus Variant Being Watched Closely: Fauci

    A new coronavirus variant called Mu that may be able to evade existing antibodies, including those from vaccines, is under close watch by U.S. health officials.

    The variant hasn't taken extensive hold in the United States at this point, but the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is taking it "very seriously," according to its director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, CBS Ne...

    How Much Should the Delta Variant Worry You?

    The Delta variant of COVID-19 is upending any return to normalcy in some parts of the United States, with locales like Los Angeles County urging vaccinated folks to once again don masks indoors.

    Infectious disease experts said these places are acting with an abundance of appropriate caution, given that the Delta variant is more transmissible and potentially more dangerous.

    But the d...

    Meat Production Is Dirtying the Air You Breathe

    Steaks and burgers could be killing thousands of Americans each year, but in a way most people wouldn't expect -- via air pollution.

    That's the conclusion of a new study estimating that airborne particles generated by food production kill nearly 16,000 Americans each year. Pollution related to animal products -- most notably beef -- accounts for 80% of those deaths.

    "What we eat aff...

    Newborns Won't Get COVID Through Infected Mom's Breast Milk: Study

    A new study offers more reassurance that mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2 can safely breastfeed their babies.

    The study of 55 infants born to moms with COVID-19 found that none contracted the virus -- even though most started getting breast milk in the hospital.

    Researchers said the findings support existing advice from public health authorities. Last year, the World Health Organiza...

    Could Diphtheria Become Resistant to Vaccines?

    Diphtheria could once again become a major global health problem due to vaccine and antibiotic resistance, researchers warn.

    Diphtheria is a highly contagious -- and potentially deadly -- infection that can affect the nose and throat, as well as the skin.

    It is caused primarily by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which make a toxin, or poison, that ca...

    Insulin May Not Need Refrigeration, Freeing Up Its Use in Poorer Nations

    Researchers report that insulin can be stored at less-cold temperatures than previously known, potentially simplifying diabetes care for people in warmer regions that have fewer resources.

    Researchers from Doctors Without Borders and the University of Geneva tested insulin storage in real conditions ranging from 77 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks -- the time it typically takes t...

    Don't Believe the Myth: Face Masks Don't Lower  Oxygen Levels

    Face masks: Yes, they may not be the most pleasant item to wear, but they are not depriving people of needed oxygen, a new study confirms.

    The findings should counter a common anti-mask myth -- that donning a face mask is unhealthy.

    Claims that masks reduce oxygen supplies, cause carbon dioxide "intoxication" and weaken the immune system have gained steam, fueled in part by soc...

    Zika Epidemic Was More Widespread Than Thought: Study

    The Zika epidemic, which began as a mosquito-borne viral infection and led to severe birth defects, affected far more people than previously thought, new research shows.

    For the study, researchers analyzed data from 15 countries and territories in South America, Central America and the Caribbean with a combined population of 507 million, and concluded that they had over 132 million Zi...

    More Than 1 in 3 U.S. Pediatricians Dismiss Vaccine-Refusing Families

    Parents who choose to forgo or delay their children's vaccinations may quickly find themselves without a pediatrician.

    Just over half (51%) of pediatric offices in the United States have a policy to dismiss families that refuse childhood vaccines, a nationwide survey found. Thirty-seven percent of pediatricians themselves said they often dismissed families for refusing vaccines, ...

    Dental Groups Push Back on WHO's Call to Delay Routine Care

    The World Health Organization recommended postponing routine dental care during the coronavirus pandemic, but the American Dental Association (ADA) strongly disagrees.

    "Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is essential health care," said ADA President Dr. Chad Gehani. "Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or trea...

    Evidence Mounts That TB Vaccine Might Help Protect Against COVID-19

    A tuberculosis vaccine may help reduce the risk of death from COVID-19, researchers suggest.

    Developing countries have lower-than-expected COVID-19 death rates, and a TB vaccine given in countries with high rates of tuberculosis might play a significant role in reducing COVID-19 death rates, according to authors of a new study.

    The vaccine, which is routinely given to childr...

    WHO Predicts COVID-19 Will Take Heavy Toll in Africa

    Without quick action, the new coronavirus could sicken up to a quarter-billion people in Africa during the pandemic's first year and claim 190,000 lives, a new modeling forecast suggests.

    Up to 5.5 million people could require hospitalization, 140,000 could have severe COVID-19, and 89,000 would be critically ill, the World Health Organization study says.

    The forecast -- l...

    Dirty Air Cuts Millions of Lives Short Worldwide: Study

    Worldwide, air pollution may be shortening people's life expectancy by an average of three years, according to new estimates.

    Researchers calculate that air pollution actually has a bigger impact on life expectancy than tobacco smoking, HIV/AIDS or violence.

    While that might sound surprising, it reflects the ubiquity of air pollution, said study co-author Jos Lelieveld of th...

    Study Casts Doubt on Need for Adult Boosters for Tetanus, Diphtheria

    Countering a U.S. government advisory, a new study suggests that adults may not need regular booster shots for tetanus and diphtheria if they received a complete vaccination series as children.

    Researchers compared data gathered from millions of people in 31 countries in North America and Europe between 2001 and 2016. They found no significant differences in rates of the two diseases...

    Aging Population, Unhealthy Habits Underlie Expected Cancer Surge

    Due to population growth and aging, the number of cancer cases worldwide is expected to jump 60% by 2040 -- but unhealthy lifestyle habits are likely to make the surge even larger.

    That's the conclusion from the new edition of the Cancer Atlas, unveiled Wednesday at the World Cancer Leaders' Summit in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. It notes that unhealthy habits such as smoking, p...

    Big Gains Against Hep C Possible With Big Investment

    Millions of hepatitis C cases and related deaths could be prevented, but it will require a significant investment, researchers say.

    In the first study to model such measures worldwide, the authors concluded that sweeping prevention, screening and treatment efforts could prevent 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths by 2030.